Articles

Libraries are welcoming spaces that promote diversity, equity and inclusion.This is especially evident as, for the third year, the American Library Association marks June as GLBT Book Month™, a nationwide celebration of the authors and writings that reflect the lives and experiences of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.Originally established in the early 1990s by The Publishing Triangle as National Lesbian and Gay Book Month, this occasion is an opportunity for book lovers and libraries with the very best in GLBT literature.  GLBT Book Month™ is coordinated through the ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table.The ALA supports GLBT literature through the Stonewall Book Awards, as well as two bibliographies including Rainbow Books and Over the Rainbow Books. These awards not only recognize the very best in contemporary literature, but also provide a foundation for quality GLBT collections in our nation’s libraries. READ MORE
Art that’s inspired by a good book can be interesting.In Meg Wolitzer’s celebrated 2013 novel, “The Interestings,” a gaggle of teenagers at a summer arts camp bond together in that amazingly intense way that only summer campers can. Love, rivalry, hero worship and enduring dreams for the future all sprout. So do years of unexpected consequences and soul-searching about what it means to be ordinary versus what it means to be special and truly “interesting.”The Camas Public Library’s bimonthy Book-to-Art club is special and interesting. Its mission is not just to get people reading and talking — it’s also to get them creating. It was started by librarian Judy Wile, who has run a monthly “Saturday Adult Craft-o-Rama” at the library for years. In that group, Wile selects a project and everybody tries it. READ MORE
Charlie Macquarie, a librarian, archivist, artist and writer, spoke about his “Library of Approximate Locations” at SNC’s Poetry Center (NV) in the Prim Library this spring. Macquarie’s project sheds light on the importance of libraries and books in a way that makes people want to keep turning the pages.Macquarie grew up in Carson City and shares his connection to the region and landscape through his art installations at outdoor locations throughout the West and his accompanying talks, which usually take place in libraries.His installations are comprised of books that share a historic connection to the land. He presents himself as the librarian that he is, curating a library that is specific to a chosen site. His own book collection always follows him in his grandfather’s old truck. READ MORE
At the Stanislaus County Library in Modesto (CA), Olga Cardenas makes it her mission to deliver literacy programs, regardless of language or economic barriers.It is why she received a 2016 I Love My Librarian Award.  Blessed with the ability to communicate in English and Spanish, she reaches families in Stanislaus County burdened with extreme poverty and facing cultural barriers.  Cardenas, who was nominated by the Friends of the Modesto Library,  holds the key these families need to unlock the potential for unlimited opportunities for their children.As the Youth Services Outreach Librarian, she reaches out to parents in their communities, their workplaces and their houses of worship. Her outreach efforts have also led her to forge partnerships between the library and businesses, service organizations and schools. READ MORE
Learning doesn’t end with the school year. At our nation’s libraries, summer is the season for learning, as libraries fill a critical need for continuity in the education process.  Public libraries serve a critical function in summer learning, in many cases acting as the only safety net against the summer slide.Shawn Brommer, youth services and outreach consultant with the South Central Library System in Madison, Wisconsin, said she is seeing a trend of youth services librarians in public libraries are looking at the benefit that summer library programs provide to the entire community.   “We are addressing the summer slide through so many activities, definitely through our literacy activities and through supporting reading. But we are also looking at summer learning.” READ MORE
Amid the showy depictions of rearing horses, racing stagecoaches and deadly duels, a strange similarity becomes apparent between the solemn hero framed by revolvers on the cover of “Valley of Guns” and the frantic man clenching a bullet between his teeth on the front of “Bandit Trail.”“With Robert Stanley, I liked the way he did his covers. And a lot of it was because they were him — he used himself and his wife as his models for every cover he made,” said Karen Spilman, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's (OK) librarian.  “I was fascinated by the fact that for every single one of these covers, a painting was created.”Ten years into cataloging a vast collection of Western paperback novels, Spilman is paying homage to the illustrators who crafted covers that could match florid titles like “Skeleton Trail,” “Death Rides the Night” and “Deadline at Durango.”The covers are the story in the exhibition “The Artistry of the Western Paperback.”  “As I was cataloging them, I noticed more and more of the illustrations being dynamic, bright, colorful, action-packed, and I just became fascinated with them,” she said. READ MORE
Although the Cornell University Library contains many records on wine, including those in its Eastern Wine and Grape Archive, there are no books in the Wilkinson Library—it is considered a teaching and tasting library. As part of Cornell’s Department of Food Science (as opposed to the university library system), access is restricted to current Cornell students and faculty members.Gavin Sacks, an associate professor of enology in the food science department, notes that these bottles will be particularly useful during the tasting portions of courses devoted to sparkling wine blends and wine blends in general, as these types are harder to obtain. Sacks also envisions conducting research projects designed to generate a better understanding of the impact of storing wines for long periods of time at various pH levels.This interest speaks to an enduring drive to understand the finite properties of wine, which we see at other institutions. Cornell also demonstrates that, with some thoughtful organization and consideration toward an object’s creative or instructional use, a library can encompass any type of item. Conceptually, this means the future of wine libraries and collections may be, all at once, bright, complex, and refined. READ MORE
As the librarian at Hillsides Education Center, an accredited therapeutic residential and day school offering individualized education for students in kindergarten through 12th grade in Pasadena, California, Sherri Ginsberg offers library services to children who have social-emotional, learning, and behavioral challenges.She also offers library services for children who live in the Residential Treatment Services program located on the same campus, which serves children in the foster care system or who are unable to live at home for other reasons. Her efforts to turn the little-used library into a haven for children who have been abused or suffered traumas and losses have justly earned her recognition as one of the recipients of the 2016 I Love My Librarian award.  Ginsberg’s nominator, Alison Bell,  said that since Ginsberg’s arrival in 2006, she has transformed a library that was used only sparingly for after-school programs for the children who lived at Hillsides. READ MORE
The President’s preliminary budget, among other things, defunds and would close the Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS), the federal agency charged with providing support to libraries.IMLS funds make experimental and innovative library services possible. It also provides essential support for small rural libraries as well as for every state library in the nation (which use federal funds for resources to which every library in the state typically has access). While IMLS’ work is often in the background, it is no less crucial for that.  Much of its work is carried out with funds through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).  Libraries also receive federal support for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program through the Department of Education.  Together, they provided more than $210 million to libraries in FY 2016 and the President’s budget would eliminate both. Loss of this money would have a staggering effect on communities throughout our country, as well as on the millions of individuals who use America’s libraries.Fortunately, the United States federal budget is a fantastically complex instrument. President Trump can strike whatever budget lines he wants, but that doesn’t necessarily make it so. The budget must still pass Congress and that is where we can be effective right now. America’s libraries need all library supporters to contact Congress now through ALA’s new Fight for Libraries! site to preserve this critical funding. READ MORE
The Internet of Things, or IoT, has caused an explosion in the number of everyday devices that are able to collect and transmit data. Librarians recognize the balancing act required to implement IoT technologies in accordance with core principles of librarianship. Where IoT can improve access to materials or services, or provide learning opportunities, without compromising patron privacy, libraries are joining hands with their communities and diving in. Librarians are also leading the way on educating patrons about what IoT entails—its inner workings, uses, limits, and implications for our communities and society. READ MORE

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